“Always Be Closing”: How to Close Insurance Sales & Seal the Deal
Whether you are selling thingamabobs, widgets, or insurance policies, on average, three out of ten people will buy from you no matter what, three will not buy even if you overcome every objection, and the remaining six are on the fence. Your job is to convert those last six people into clients. Salespeople from all walks of life receive accolades for good salesmanship and high closing percentages. Yet, their success does not come from outright selling; it comes from not selling.
If you have a product that people want and need, those six undecided people will buy from you if they like you and trust you. Closing that sale and sealing the deal comes from a solid understanding of the psychology of sales and practicing the fundamental sales practice of “Always Be Closing.”
You can take ABC to the extreme and attempt to aggressively close a sale, but the vast majority of potential clients don’t want to be told what to do. Instead, your success will come from a more insidious approach to ABC which inspires a potential client to trust you, making it almost impossible NOT to close the sale. Let’s look at a few tips to help you successfully close more insurance sales.
Chatting up potential clients in a sincere way is something that comes naturally to some salespeople; while others skip this step. If you’ve been exposed to any kind of sales training, you have most likely heard similar advice. Those who move forward in the sales process without building rapport are on shaky ground and make it much more difficult to seal the deal later. The idea of building rapport is rooted in simple human behavior. If your close trusted friend asks you to buy something, try something, or do something, you most likely won’t hesitate, and if you do, it’s easy for him or her to overcome your objections. The same applies when you speak with potential clients. You must connect with them on a human level before you can connect with them on a business level. You might discuss hobbies, kids, marriage, where you went to college, or any common ground. You should continuously build rapport with any potential client to create a solid foundation to close a sale. The better and deeper a relationship becomes, the more opportunities will present themselves.
Be a Mechanic or A Doctor and Diagnose the Problem
Keep in mind that most people do not have the financial assets to deal with the damage, liability, or loss which comes with an accident, injury, disability, or death. Whether selling pet insurance for Fluffy the cat, auto insurance for a new SUV, homeowner’s insurance for a lake home, or life insurance for a breadwinner, most people NEED insurance; and, the law requires it in some situations.
Insurance provides a solution to a problem – How will I pay for XYZ, if (insert stressful and damaging event here) happens? Take the time to ask some pointed questions to diagnose the problems your clients might encounter. It’s important to understand both their financial and individual situations, including what is important to them both short and long term. The more you know, the greater you will be able to help them. As long as you listen carefully and avoid talking, your potential clients will tell you what they need. Once you’ve diagnosed the problem, you can present potential solutions.
Be an Educator and a Problem Solver
It’s at this point in the sales process that many inexperienced agents/advisors inadvertently kill a sale. Mr. and Mrs. Jones have told you all their insurance needs. You’re excited and want to offer solutions, so you vomit every type of policy and all the intricate details all over them. In turn, the Jones’ are overwhelmed, confused, need to think about it, and really want you to hang up or leave. You should know policies, limits, and terms well enough to put together a quote at this point. Don’t overwhelm with options, instead of based on all that you learned from the fact-finding process, provide them with one or two ways to solve their problem(s). Educate them about how a particular policy will benefit them, their loved ones, their business, and why they need it, referring to all that they shared with you. Focus on building value for one or two options and showing potential clients how you can help them.
Assuming the Sale
Don’t leave it in a prospective client’s hands to contact you to seal the deal. Ask for the sale at the very least, but it’s best to be confident and assume the sale. By this time, you have built rapport, built value, and show your prospects a solution or two, so you can ask them which option they prefer. When they choose, let them know you will start on the paperwork, while they get out their checkbook or debit card for premiums. If everything has gone well, your prospects will sign on the dotted line and you’ve closed the sale. This might feel a bit aggressive, but it serves a purpose. If they have reservations or objections, they will come out. You cannot overcome objections and close the deal if you don’t know what they are.
Salespeople deal with all types of objections, but as an insurance professional, your biggest objection will often be money, even though you have provided the right solution based upon their individual situation and finances. If you haven’t provided the right solution based on comments from your potential client, you might need to go back to the drawing board and spend more time gathering additional information during the solution-based sales process for a better fit. If your clients are worried about affording the premiums, they might tell you, especially if you have done your job building rapport. In many cases, however, prospective clients will make every other excuse in the book for why they aren’t interested in signing on the dotted line. You can save time and frustration by understanding the five primary reasons why they don’t buy.
We all have many needs and they act on us at many levels, but do we really recognize this? For example, we all need insurance. But do we want it? Not really, unless we are convinced that it directly satisfies a need that we have recognized. Sometimes a disturbing question can be used to underline this kind of need.
“If something happened to you, where would your family be?”
Is desire the most powerful motivator of all? Our desire to feel loved and accepted is irresistible. We will often buy for purely emotional reasons and then try to justify the decision to others (and even ourselves) using logic. Sometimes, these emotional reasons or desires may be hidden. You need to recognize, understand and utilize them.
Did you obtain a money commitment during the fact-finding stage of the sales process? If not, then ask a question such as, “How much could it cost you or your family if you did nothing?” Get them to think about the bigger picture. Remind them of hidden costs in the status quo. Another question may be, “So, which part or benefit don’t you want?” Here you’re stating that the value, benefit or feature is linked to the price. Some products are built to sell, where others are built to perform.
For most people, a certain level of trust in their financial professional is vital to any purchase decision they make. This level of trust required is in direct proportion to the cost of the purchase; the more expensive the solution becomes, the greater the role that trust plays in a person’s buying decision.
No Sense of Urgency
There is no point overcoming everything else and then have no call to action. Two major “people motivators” are greed and fear of loss. Consequently, deadlines, impending events and fear of loss are the order of the day. Direct your prospects as to what they need to do, why they need to do it, and when!
You should have answered many of these questions already during your presentation, but if you did not, based upon your solution-based fact-finding, you should be able to address most of their objections. If they have real objections which interfere with closing the sale, gain as much insight as possible, and schedule a follow-up call/visit to close later.
Closing any type of insurance sale requires building rapport, understanding their individual situations and finances, diagnosing your prospect’s problems, educating them, and providing useful solutions.
And remember to fully utilize the ABC of sales – Always Be Closing.
About the Financial Services Education Network
The Financial Services Education Network (FSEdNet) serves the financial services industry by providing an online experience to develop the knowledge and skills for professionals at all levels. With today’s demand for a work/life balance, your training needs to be available 24/7 on-demand, in order to sharpen sales leaders’, agent/advisors’, and staff members’ skills, insights, and knowledge.
FSEdNet provides competency-based learning where everyone will have a voice in not only what they need, but also have a choice in when and how they get it. Your entire team can access all the training and resources on their smartphones and tablets.
Contact us today for more solutions to help your insurance agency thrive.